How to overcome sensory adaptation – retail environments

How to overcome sensory adaptation – retail environments

futureofretailAs anyone who has played the game of telephone knows it can be absurdly difficult to transmit a single message from a sender to  a designated receiver. When a company engages in advertising/marketing activities it is like agreeing to play a massive scale game of telephone except there are thousands of other messages (noise) floating around and the receivers must be first convinced to to play the game or they will not be receptive to the message.

We are constantly bombarded with advertising and it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to differentiate their products amidst the incessant noise of other companies trying to do the same ‘Each of us is subjected to 3000 to 10,000 brand exposures every day through TV commercials, outdoor billboard, website banners, even neighbors’ T-shirts or coworkers’ coffee mugs’ . 1

Sensory adaptation  occurs when our senses are continually exposed to the same type of stimulus and it results in a decreased sensitivity to that stimulus. What this means for retailers is that once customers have become acclimatised to the standard retail environment, the chance for impactfulness and connection is greatly reduced. Since the brain isn’t receiving new sensory data that deviates from it’s previous experience with this stimulus it deems a low level of attention is all that is required and the consumer simply runs on autopilot before they trudge on to the next store.

The key to snapping consumers out of this dull haze is to offer something novell that they haven’t experienced before. When we encounter something new, particularly when we aren’t expecting it, that object is immediately brought to the forefront of our attention and is also likely solidified in our memory.

The effect of sensory stimulation on people and their environment is vital to designing an interior
space. The senses play critical roles in memories and emotions attached to human experience.
Lindstrom (2005) states that our emotions are linked to the information gathered through the
senses. He introduced the concept of sensory branding that stimulates and enhances
consumers’ imagination and perception, creating emotional ties between the brand and
consumer. Sensory stimuli can motivate consumers’ purchasing behavior, spark their interest,
and allow emotional responses to dominate their rational thinking (Lindstrom, 2005).  2

By providing customers with a retail environment that is both eye catching and unique, retailers can ensure that customers are in a receptive state of mind when they experience their products. Given the rebirth of the physical store (See our post on the top retail trends of 2015) it is essential that retailers take advantage of the increased impact that is possible through the traditional brick and mortar medium. As much as consumers spend online these days humans are still social creatures, in need of a certainly level of sensory stimulation and interacting with a product online can never compete with the experience and relationship building potential that is available in person.

This is where we come in; DNS Industries designs and creates custom retail displays, fixtures and encompassing retail environments. We create captivating displays that capture the essence of each brand and we take great pride in the sui generis nature of our creations. DNS is the ideal choice to avoid the perils of sensory adaptation discussed above and to to reap the benefits of tapping into the human emotional system and creating  memorable experiences.

To check out some of our award winning displays and featured projects click here